Young Halstead squad uses season for learning

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Halstead golfer Spencer Johnson chips during play Tuesday at the Hesston Invitational at the Wedgewood Golf Course. Johnson tied for 11th. Halstead finished fifth as a team.
Sedgwick golfer Tate McGinn puts a ball on the green during play Tuesday at the Halstead Invitational at the Wedgewood Golf Course.
Halstead High School golfer Reece Brantley takes a chip during play Tuesday in the Halstead Invitational.

HALSTEAD — Young and short-handed, the Halstead High School boys’ golf team hosts its annual invitational Tuesday at Wedgewood Golf Course in rural Halstead.

Wedgewood played a little trickier than its par 70, 5,200-yards would suggest, keeping the scores a little on the high side.

Pratt won the eight-team field at 388, three strokes ahead of Buhler. Pretty Prairie was third at 396. Host Halstead was fifth at 437. Sedgwick had just three golfers, one shy of posting a team score.

Buhler’s Calvin Shank was top medalist at 90, followed by Lucas Detter of Pretty Prairie at 92. Dalton Weber and Hunter Teasley, both of Pratt, tied for third at 93.

“We came in with some high expectations,” Halstead coach T.J. Warsnak said. “We had some struggles out there, here and there, and it wasn’t quite our day. Yesterday, we played up at Salina and played really well. We seemed to be a little bit flat today. We maybe were a little tired. It wasn’t our best performance, but I was pleased with how we handled ourselves.

“It was a little bit windy at the start. This course is a little bit sneaky. There’s a lot of thick rough right around the greens — and there are small greens. I think it’s a little different than some of the courses the kids are more used to — bigger and more wide open. They start pressing a little bit, and all of a sudden, the putts are breaking in ways you’re not expecting.”

Halstead was led by freshman Connor Whitsitt, who placed sixth at 97. Spencer Johnson was tied for 11th at 100, one stroke shy of a medal. Reece Brantley was 26th at 109 and Seth Motes was 36th at 131.

“I think I did pretty good,” Whitsitt said. “I just missed some putts. I actually could have made some putts, but some three-putts killed me. Other than that, I did pretty good. Like the coach said, this is an improvement year. We’re trying to get better as a team. I played quite a bit in the summer. I didn’t play in any major (tournaments), but I played quite a bit. I just want to get better as a person and get better as a whole team.”

The Dragons were without the sole senior on the roster — Cameron Kohr — because of injury. That left the team with a freshman and three sophomores.

“Our team is a little bit small this year,” Warsnak said. “They are very young. My only senior broke his wrist a couple of weeks ago. Not having him creates some problems. I’ve brought out freshmen and sophomores. We’re treating this year as a learning experience to get better in future years. It’s a long process. I like our attitude. They’re ready to play every day.”

Sedgwick was led by Tate McGinn, tied for 14th at 101; Drew McGinn, who finished 31st at 122; and Kaden Tiede, who finished 37th at 145.

Halstead plays Friday in the 36-hole Marion County Invitational at the Marion Country Club and Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course. Sedgwick plays May 10 at the Heart of America League Championships at the Hesston Golf Course.

Halstead Inv.

Tuesday

Wedgewood GC

Par 70, 5,200 yards

Team score — Pratt 388, Buhler 391, Pretty Prairie 396, Hillsboro 406, Halstead 437, Lyons 458, Nickerson 489. Sedgwick no team score.

Individuals — 1. Calvin Shank Buh. 90, 2. Lucas Detter PP 92, 3. Dalton Weber Pr. 93, T3. Hunter Teasley Pr. 93, 5. Stone Starbuck Ly. 96, 6. Connor Whitsitt Hal. 97, 7. Jaden Kretzer Buh. 99, T7. Bryan Steadman PP 99, T7. Cayden Herrell Nic. 99, T7. Ayden Wyer Buh. 99, 11. Spencer Johnson Hal. 100, T11. Rylie Daniels Hil. 100, T11. Eli Dalke Hil. 100, 14. Brock Hudson Pr. 101, T14. Karter Hoeme Pr. 101, T14. Tate McGinn Sed. 101, 17. Paul Glanzer Hil. 102, T17. Brett McLeland PP 102, 19. Tyler Reimer Pr. 103, T19. Landon Weide PP 103, T19. Carver Terrell Buh. 103, 22. Frank Wichert Hil. 104, 23. Dylan Hamon Buh. 107, 24. Bryant Dalke Hil. 108, T24. Jaiden McGinnis PP 108, 26. Reece Brantley Hal. 109, 27. Embeck Moreno Ly. 112, T27. Aaron Armbrust Nic. 112, 29. Gauge Stauffer PP 117, 30. Ian Foster Ly. 121, 31. Drew McGinn Sed. 122, 32. Annaliese Jorgenson Hil. 123, 33. Jordon schmidt Nic. 125, 34. Trace Melhorn Pr. 126, 35. Kennedy Winford Ly. 129, 36. Seth Motes Hal. 131, 37. Kaden Tiede Sed. 145, 38. Ian Kinsey Nic. 153.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com